Aimpoint Lands Contract While EOTech Gets the Door

(Editor’s note: This article was a submission from freelance writer Max Slowik)

The long-running debate over which optic platform is better, Aimpoint or EOTech, may have come to a head. Electronics and aerospace firm L-3 Communications, manufacturer of EOTech optics, is now offering refunds to customers after settling out of court for falsely representing the capabilities of their holographic weapon sights to the U.S. government.

And last month, the FBI selected Aimpoint to supply their specialized Hostage Rescue Team and Defensive Systems Unit with updated Micro T-2 and Micro H-2 red dot sights, respectively.

These wins and losses have a huge effect on public perception and will influence buyers in all markets for some time to come, from individuals to law enforcement and military customers around the world.

Owners of EOTech sights can apply for a refund if they have problems with their optics through the EOTech website.

EOTech optics were pushed into the spotlight last September when the USSOCOM issued a safety warning stating that several models showed significant shift in zero when subject to extreme high and low temperatures–122 degrees Fahrenheit and -40 degrees–and that a return to zero was not guaranteed even after the optics were brought back to ambient temperatures.

At high and low temperatures the point of impact shift can be off by plus or minus 4 MOA, or about 4 inches every 100 yards, and remain off by as much as 2 MOA when brought back to room temp. They recommend that users verify and adjust their optics’ zero accordingly.

This warning followed an earlier notice in March, highlighting problems with optics that have been in service for long stretches that showed signs of fading reticles and parallax shift.

Under the wrong circumstances, it’s possible to have up to a 10 MOA shift in zero, or about 10 inches of impact shift every 100 yards–more than enough to miss a target by a wide margin. Earlier cases reported up to a 20 MOA shift in zero under severe conditions in a series of incidents dating back to 2006.

Shortly after the second safety warning was issued the government filed a Federal suit alleging that EOTech committed fraud by misrepresenting the capabilities of their holographic sights. L-3 Communications settled on the same day, paying $25.6 million.

Not everyone will have these problems. Many users, including private gun owners and law enforcement agencies alike, aren’t necessarily going to run their optics at these extremes. EOTech sights, for all these problems, still have their advantages including large windows and fast reticles.

But with the option of getting a refund a possibility, more than a few EOTech owners are likely to “trade in” their older optics for money to upgrade to something else. The new question might be “What’s better, Aimpoint or Trijicon?”

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Pale Rider January 21, 2017, 7:36 pm

    The next time one of you is in 122 degree heat or -40 degree cold, let me know. Exceptions of course to anyone who’s still in the sand.

  • Russ Scharrer July 11, 2016, 2:46 pm

    At the NRA show in Kentucky this year I had the chance to discuss this topic of “thermal shift” with one of EOTech’s technical staff. I like a host of other people were running scared away from their platform due to this “problem” with their optics and asked point blank what the deal is. The EOTech representative rather than skip around the point said yes under these type extreme conditions you may see a shift in point of aim but he said all the other manufacturer’s have the similar type issues under extreme conditions as well just not as advertised on the level of EOTech at this point. He also stated that the majority of people who own these will not see this type of problem as their gear will not see these extremes. He also said they are doing everything they can to eliminate this issue and unlike their counterparts made it known they want satisfied customers and stand behind what they sell. I own two of their best units and will not be sending them in as I have found nothing else that gives the flexibility, durability and is US made to compare.

  • A.N. December 31, 2015, 2:30 am

    I got my first Eotech 512 back in 06 and put it on my Patrol rifle (5.56). For the past 9 years it has been in and out of vehicles for patrol duty and entry team duty, as I am also on our agency’s SWAT team. Never had an issue with my zero changing. I’ve taken the optic off for classes and cleaning and again, no change in zero. I live and work in Northern Illinois where the weather greatly fluctuates throughout the year. I love my Eotech but with this new info, I cannot in my right mind continue to field this optic on my rifle. My fellow officers and operator teammates depend on my aim to be true and on, all the time, with no room for error. So, I will be switching to Aimpoint ASAP. Not as good in the “field of view” department but tried and true all over the world. That cannot be disputed. Just my two cents. Stay safe gents!!

  • Ed December 19, 2015, 8:45 pm

    Well after going to the Aimpoint site and finding that there are no dealer network in the entire United States, I am not going to be buying one.

  • Jake December 19, 2015, 12:35 am

    I got the 512 the first day it came out with AA’s. There was the issue with them canting a bit to one side but it worked fine. I’ve had it one several guns and currently it adorns a SIG 556R in 7.62×39 with no problems.
    The red dot I really like right now is the Lucid Micro with 2 moa dot in a 25 moa circle. I’ve had it on a 930 Mossberg JM Tactical blasting away with OO Buck for a couple of years. It has never been adjusted after laser sighting it in my garage a couple of years ago and with the full choke tube wins one Turkey shoot after another with whatever cheap loads they provide at the various shoots. They are about $160, use one AAA battery and the closest thing to the Aimpoint Micro in performance I am aware of. I would hope the Aimpoint is better for the huge price difference but at least for non warfare applications the Lucid sure seems to be a winner.

  • Lee December 18, 2015, 11:30 am

    No surprise here, have had this debate with my fellow teammates for years. I myself have stuck to aimpoint while others vehemently defended the eotech. While I enjoy the field of view better with the eotech and wish aimpoint would make something similar….eotechs just don’t last in harsh environments. I had one (eotech) that I left in the vehicle on my rifle overnight. Temps went down to -10. Got up in the morning and turned it on….only 1/4 of the reticle was visible! I allowed it to return to ambient temp and still no joy. YMMV but I stick to aimpoints, really wish the eotech stood the test of time though.

  • Enrique de españa December 18, 2015, 10:57 am

    in 2004 I was introduced to my first m4 with eotech , I shot the lowest score ever. I refused the new issue and was the only soldier in my unit to carry the old m16a2, using open sights……..they don’t fail…

  • Steve Warren December 18, 2015, 10:19 am

    Wow. That’s too bad. I love mine. Never had any problem with mine. I’ll be keeping it. PS. If I was hostage rescue I think I would be training enough to notice any loss of zero.

    • Thadius June 7, 2016, 1:52 am

      I really hope you understand that you cannot “see” a shift in point of impact caused in this fashion.. You find out when you fire and your point of impact is NOT where it should be.. So yeah, anyone on the team I belonged to could tell there was a loss of zero.. once we’d fired. Considering that first round round may have just emptied the brain pan of your loved one who was being held hostage, while cleanly missing the hostage taker, I will assume you’d rather the sight stayed true?!?!?

  • DB December 18, 2015, 8:52 am

    Had two Eotech for four years on shotguns and no problems shooting slugs on steel at 100 yds, no shift whatsoever.

  • Miles December 18, 2015, 7:34 am

    The “refund” is a eotech coupon for eotech products thats kinda defeating the purpose imho just getting more crap but i gues its better than nothing maybe they can be sold before the markets floaded

    • Charlie King December 18, 2015, 10:00 am

      Miles- with all due respect, can you document your claim? I never read that about the refund…

  • RH December 13, 2015, 12:51 pm

    Well this is a finger in the eye to all the EOTECH fanboys. I can see all the shooter forums blowing up with “I told you so’s.”

    The one thing I hate the most about the firearms industry is all the false claims about products. It seems to be the rule these days and not the exception. I can easily name 20 products in the last year alone that did not live up to their hype or their initial reviews.

    If you want a good honest review, look for the customer reviews. They are the least bias and more trustworthy if the product has been out for 6 months or more.

    • Robert Brooks December 18, 2015, 4:04 am

      No surprise. I’ve been quite happy with mine. One adjustment in the spring, when it goes from cold to hot. (3 inches up and left, diag ) The other in the late fall, when it goes from hot to cold. (3inches down and right, diag) All at 100yds. I’ve been doing this for the past 6 years. Nothing new…..

      • Steve O December 18, 2015, 9:22 am

        And this is acceptable to you? I’m sure glad I didn’t waste my money on this crap, then have to turn around and defend it like it’s normal.
        Hell, I’ve got walmart scopes that haven’t lost zero in 10 years.

        • chuchi December 18, 2015, 11:03 pm

          Well now, I didn’t even know Walmart made scopes.

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